Holyfield: Tyson Bit Me Out Of Fear

Since June of 1997, the one moment that sticks out for many people regarding the world of boxing was when Mike Tyson bit a chunk of Evander Holyfield’s ear off during their rematch.

And while Tyson’s entire life is a case study on mental health, Holyfield feels the reason that Tyson bit him wasn’t out of pure madness, but out of fear…

“With those bites I understood that Mike was afraid because when you do something like that, it’s because you want to run and not fight. When I fought with my brothers, I would bite them and then run, so it was the same situation. Biting me was the easiest way out of the fight.”

During WBC’s 55th annual convention in Baku, Holyfield told reporters that he was never afraid of Tyson and always felt that he could beat him.

“They said I wasn’t as good because I had not defeated Tyson, but I was not afraid of anybody. We fought and I stopped him, so we went back to do it again and he bit me twice in the same fight. I knew I could beat him.”

Holyfield also emphasized that his rivalry with Tyson began when both Olympic hopefuls, and those who saw the potential in both tried to start comparing the two.

“People keep talking about that fight [from 1997]. But even in the amateurs many wondered what would have happened if we had faced each other. We both wanted to go to the 1984 Olympics but nobody remembers that… At some point we did some sparring, he was 20 and I was 21. At home I was always the smallest and when I wanted to do something they said I couldn’t because I was the smallest, so when I was with him in the ring, in my mind I had it set that I could not lose to someone else.”

You might also like